Low Carb Veggies: Diabetic Diet

Low carb and non-starchy vegetables are here to stay. If you suffer from diabetes, you know that eating low-carb vegetables is the best way to get full without gaining weight or raising your blood sugar. Not only are vegetables jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, low in calories, they also are believed to help fight some cancers. Most vegetables contain fiber and are naturally low in fat and sodium (unless they are canned or frozen in sauces). Here are some tips along with the 6 best vegetables for diabetics.

  • Tips For Carb Counters: Generally, non-starchy vegetables have about 5 grams of carbohydrate in ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw. Most of the carbohydrate is fiber so unless you eat more than 1 cup of cooked or 2 cups of raw at a time, you may not need to count the carbohydrates from the non-starchy vegetables.
  • Tips for the Plate Method: With half of your plate filled with vegetables, your options are endless for delicious combinations. If you are still hungry after the food on your plate is gone, try having a salad with a low-calorie dressing to satisfy your appetite and get an extra serving or two of vegetables in at the same time.
  • Tips for using the Glycemic Index: You can enjoy the wide variety of vegetables using the glycemic index. Almost all vegetables contain very little carbohydrate and have very low GI value.

1.Spinach: Spinach is one of many leafy greens that have been shown to drop the risk of developing diabetes. People who consume more than one serving a day of spinach slash their risks for diabetes by 14 percent, compared to people who eat less than 1/2 a serving daily. Spinach is particularly rich in vitamin K, along with several minerals including magnesium, folate, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. It’s also a good source of the plant chemicals lutein and zeaxanthin, and various flavonoids. Although spinach is technically a rich source of calcium, another nutrient in spinach called oxalic acid prevents much of that calcium from being absorbed, but you can blanch spinach (boil it for just one minute) to reduce this chemical (Readers Digest).

2.Broccoli: Broccoli is a cruciferous veggie, like kale and cauliflower, it contains a compound called sulforaphane, which helps with anti-inflammatory processes that improve blood sugar control. It also  protects blood vessels from the cardiovascular damage, which is a complication of diabetes. (Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people with diabetes, so this protection could be a lifesaver.) Sulforaphane also helps flip on the body’s natural detox mechanisms, coaxing enzymes to turn dangerous cancer-causing chemicals into more innocent forms that the body can easily release (Readers Digest).

3.Cucumber: A 1-cup serving of cucumber provides only 0.9 gram of starch and 1.7 grams of sugar. According to the American Diabetes Association, nonstarchy vegetables like cucumbers have little potential to cause a boost in your blood sugar. In addition, a 1-cup serving of cucumbers provides 0.5 gram of dietary fiber and only 16 calories. The University of Illinois Extension suggests that eating 20 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories can help to lower your blood sugar. Eating cucumbers can help increase your fiber intake without significantly boosting your caloric intake.

4.Cabbage: Low in kilojoules and high in fiber, which translates to weight loss, a crucial factor in the fight against diabetes. Cabbages are a rich source of vitamin C, which reduces the risk of developing diabetes. Red cabbage is rich in anthocyanins, a natural pigment that boost insulin production.

5.Brussels SproutBrussels sprouts are surprisingly high in protein for a green vegetable, and just one serving would meet your needs for vitamin C and vitamin K for the day. Brussels sprouts are also a part of the cruciferous vegetable family, supplying loads of nutrients for a small amount calories (

6.Cauliflower: By eating cauliflower you get the benefit of an exceptional source of cancer fighting compounds that contain sulfur and nitrogen. These include Glucosinolates, which form isothiocyanates, indoles and sulforaphane. These substances help to decrease inflammation in the body and inhibit cancerous cell growth and induce cell death in certain types of cancers (